The Miami Marlins have been making some bold moves this offseason. After announcing a name change and introducing a new logo and uniforms, the team is also preparing to move into their new $515-million retractable-roof stadium.
They missed out on signing all-star free agent Albert Pujols, but the Marlins have still managed to upgrade their lineup with some big fish. In the past week they’ve agreed to deals with closer Heath Bell, starting pitcher Mark Buehrle, and 2011 batting champion shortstop Jose Reyes, spending a grand total of $191 million on free agents this offseason. Phil Latzman from WLRN in Miami talks to Bill Littlefield about what’s driving Miami’s sudden spending spree.
“They’re spending like druken sail fish,” Latzman says. “It’s amazing.”
The Marlins hope the new ballpark will generate enough revenue over the next few years to justify the revamping of their roster. But Latzman says Miamians are fair-weather fans.
“[The Marlins] figure, ‘Well now that we’ve got this stadium, we better put a product on the field that people will show up to see,’” Lantzman explains. “After keeping the money in their wallet for so long, now they’re dishing it out.”
Lantzman worries it may be difficult to draw the types of crowds that are expected to the new stadium.
“They’re expecting attendance of about 3 million people per season,” Lantzman says. “Will people show up to see this team if they’re not winning and if things are not going well, or will this be an edifice of waste?”